More than 240 items dealing with African American history, including books, government documents, manuscripts, maps, musical scores, plays, films, and recordings. The site is organized into nine periods, including slavery, the Civil War; Reconstruction, black exodus, the “Booker T. Washington era” of progress, World War I; the Depression and World War II; and Civil Rights. A well-written guide for exploring African American history.
Slaves and the Courts, 1740–1860, Library of Congress, American Memory
Provides published materials on legal aspects of slavery. Most of the pamphlets and books pertain to American cases in the 19th century. Includes documents on the slave trade, slave codes, the Fugitive Slave Law, slave insurrections, and courtroom proceedings from famous trials such as the Amistad case, the Denmark Vesey conspiracy trial, and trials of noted abolitionists John Brown and William Lloyd Garrison.
This site contains roughly 500 images depicting the social, political, and cultural worlds of African Americans. The site can be searched through 17 subject categories, such as family, labor, Civil War, slavery, social life and customs, and portraits. This site offers a keyword search and is ideal for researching African American and 19th-century history.
Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936–1938, American Memory, Library of Congress
A gold mine of information on the history of slavery from those who lived as slaves. This site has more than 2,300 first person accounts of slavery and 500 black and white photographs of former slaves. These narratives and photographs were collected as part of the 1930s Federal Writers Project of the Works Project Administration.
The Time of the Lincolns, PBS Online, WGBH, American Experience
This companion site to the six-hour documentary, Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided, includes essays and videos addressing the antislavery movement, the Underground Railroad, defenses for slavery, “wage slavery” in the North, African Americans in the North, developments in technology, women’s rights, and literary women. A teacher’s guide is included.
Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War, University of Virginia
A massive, searchable archive of thousands of pages of maps, images, letters, diaries, newspapers, and church, agricultural, military, and public records—all relating to two communities, Staunton, Virginia, and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, before, during, and after the Civil War.
Samuel J. May Anti-Slavery Collection,Cornell University Library
This site features more than 10,000 pamphlets, leaflets, broadsides, newsletters of local and regional anti-slavery societies, sermons, essays, and arguments for and against slavery. Materials date from the 18th to the 19th centuries and cover slavery in the United States and the West Indies, the slave trade, and emancipation.
Provides full transcriptions and images of more than 2,400 newspaper advertisements regarding runaway slaves between 1736 and 1777. Includes ads placed by owners and overseers for runaways as well as ads for captured runaway or suspected runaway slaves placed by sheriffs and other governmental officials. Searchable by any words appearing in ads. Three K-12 teaching guides are included.
Chronology on the History of Slavery, 1619 to 1789,Eddie Becker, Preservation Activist
This site offers a timeline compiled from archive, library, and Internet sources to provide background information for research on the history of slavery and racism in the United States in three chronological sections: 1619–1789, 1790–1829, and 1830 to “the end”. For each year listed in the timeline there is an essay (150–750 words) describing major events and incorporating links to related sites and suggested readings.
North American Slave Narratives, Beginnings to 1920,William Andrews, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Offers 230 full-text documents on the lives of American slaves, including all known-to-be published slave narratives and many published biographies of slaves. Users can also view images of the covers, spines, title pages, and versos of title pages. Provides a 2,200-word introductory essay by Professor Andrews. Of great value to those studying the history of American slavery, the South, African American culture, and literary properties of slave narratives.
Africans in America,PBS Online
This well-produced site was created as a companion to the PBS series Africans in America. It traces the history of Africans in America in four chronological parts: “The Terrible Transformation” (1450–1750), “Revolution” (1750–1805), “Brotherly Love” (1791–1831), and “Judgment Day” (1831–1865). The site offers a total of more than 200 primary documents, more than 75 images and maps, and brief descriptions by historians of specific aspects of the history of slavery, servitude, abolition, and war in America. Teacher guides offer ideas for questions, activities, and lessons for elementary and secondary students.
National Geographic Online: The Underground Railroad,National Geographic
This multimedia educational site from National Geographic offers a diverse set of materials that describe the Underground Railroad. Students may explore the visual materials, audio selections, a map of the Underground Railroad routes, 12 brief biographies of individuals who helped enslaved African Americans reach the North, and a timeline provides some context to the history of slavery in the New World. The site is rounded out by a number of educational resources for K-12 teachers.
Slave Movement During the 18th and 19th Centuries,Data and Program Library Service, University of Wisconsin Madison
This site offers downloadable raw data and documentation on 11 topics related to the 18th- and 19th-century slave trade. Data sets contain information such as port of departure, vessel and owner information, number of slaves carried, origins of slaves, and port of arrival. Each data set includes a 250-word description explaining bibliographic information, file inventory, and methodology, as well as a codebook that guides users in reading the data. The site would be particularly useful in controlled assignments for college-level survey or advanced high school students’ research into slavery and the slave trade.
Third Person, First Person: Slave Voices,Digital Scriptorium, Duke University
An exhibit of primary source material relating to slavery from the late 18th century to emancipation in the 19th century. Reproduces or describes 33 documents, ranging from a broadside announcing a reward for the return of a runaway slave to an 85-page memoir written in 1923 by an African American woman who relates stories and experiences of her parents and grandparents, who had been slaves.
Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas: A Visual Record,University of Virginia
This collection of more than 900 images depicts the enslavement of Africans, the Atlantic Slave Trade, and slave life in the New World. Images are arranged in 18 categories, including capture of slaves, maps, slave ships, plantation scenes, physical punishment, music, free people of color, family life, religion, marketing, rebellion, and emancipation.